Lease termination letter with samples – from tenant to landlord

What is a lease?

A lease is an agreement between two parties- a lessor and a lessee, or in this case a landlord and tenant, where the tenant agrees to pay the landlord for the use of his property for a certain amount of time. Apartments, office space, shopping complexes are examples of property that can be leased. Once the time in the agreement elapses, your lease is said to be terminated. If however, issues come up before the termination date, you may wish to end your lease with your landlord. This should be done in writing. In this article, we’ll be looking at how to write a lease termination letter.

Is there a difference between a lease and a rental agreement?

Yes. There is a difference between a lease and a rental agreement. The major difference is that a lease is long term (usually a year or more), and rental agreements are short-term, usually month to month.

What does a lease contain?

A lease should state exactly how long you’ll be renting the apartment- one year, two years, etc and exactly how much money you’ll pay in rent each month and when that rent will be due. Other things that are included in a lease are security deposits, first-and-last-months’ rent requirement, pet rules, who pays for what utilities, and who is responsible for maintenance and repairs. Depending on the nature of the building and what amenities are in it, the landlord can stipulate terms of use for facilities and eventualities. For instance, pool privileges and parking lot access conditions may be spelled out in your lease.

Why write a lease termination letter?

When you sign a lease as a tenant, you agree to comply with the terms and conditions of that lease. However, where there is a breach of the conditions or you are no longer able to continue with the arrangement, you should notify your landlord appropriately in writing. Your lease probably states the appropriate way to end the agreement, including when you should give notice. But if it doesn’t and there is a conflicting issue causing you to leave, be sure to state it in your letter.

Reasons to terminate my lease.

Why terminate your lease? There are various reasons why you may choose to terminate your lease. These include:

-A landlord’s failure to maintain fit and habitable premises. Every landlord is obligated to maintain his property in a habitable state fit for human accommodation. That means, the premises should be adequately sanitary, broken pipes should be fixed, things that can cause unnecessary nuisance should be taken care of, health and safety codes should be abided by.  A tenant can provide written notice directly to the landlord stating that there is a health or safety violation that needs to be repaired. State laws will vary on how long the landlord has to respond and fix the violation. If the landlord fails to fix a significant health or safety violation, not just a simple repair, the tenant may be legally allowed to break the lease agreement.

-Tenant is under active military duty. A tenant in the armed forces can be deployed at any time. By law, he is not under obligation to finish out his lease. He may terminate it when necessary. A few states require a small fee to be paid to the landlord in this circumstance. According to Service Members Civil Relief Act, if a service member signs a lease and then receives orders to relocate for a period of at least 90 days, the tenant can provide the landlord with a written notice of their need to terminate the lease agreement with proof of relocation orders.

Other reasons for terminating your lease include a landlord illegally entering the apartment. Domestic Violence and illegal Apartment. If you discover that the apartment is an illegal structure or is being used to facilitate illegality you can terminate the lease.

What to include your termination letter?

You should write your name and address. And also the name and address of the landlord as written in the lease.

Be sure to put the date.

Simply address it ‘Dear Landlord’ or ‘To the Landlord’.

State that you wish to end your lease. And indicate when you will be moving out of the apartment.

Specify your reason for moving out. If the landlord is in default of a proven breach, state it. Also indicate that you would like a refund of your security deposit since you are leaving the apartment in good condition.

Include any incidental information you think the landlord should be made aware of.


Sample Letter 1

Austin Smith
No. 2A, 55 Riverview Crescent,
Savannah Illinois 85794


Jacob John
55 Blantyre Dr.
Underside, Illinois 77764

June 13, 2018.

Dear Landlord,

This is to notify you of my intention to vacate Apartment 2A in your building. I will be leaving the apartment on July 24, 2018 to relocate to another city because of a new job.

I also would like to request a refund of my security deposit in the sum of $800 paid at the beginning of the lease. The apartment is in very good condition. I will communicate a forwarding address within the next two weeks that a check or money order can be sent to.

Kindly let me know when you would like to inspect the apartment as per the terms of the lease. Weekends are preferable, from 10am to 6pm.


Sample Letter2

55 Blantyre Dr.
Underside, Illinois 77764

June 13, 2018.

Jane Doe, Property Manager,
Eden Properties
Savannah Illinois 85794


Dear Manager,

I am a tenant in flat 4d of the Union Building in Amazon Drive. I would like to terminate my lease effective June 14, 2018.

This is because I can no longer afford to pay the rent, which was increased from $750 to $950 without notice. This is contrary to the terms of the lease and I do not wish to continue staying in the building.

I fully expect a refund of my security deposit in the sum of $1500. I guarantee that the apartment is in top condition.

You can reach me on (555) 6782 with any questions.


Jacob John,

55 Blantyre Dr.

Underside, Illinois 77764


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